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The Blame Game and Gun Control

The first step to securing our rights is to truly understand who is at fault when a crime occurs.

Brad Fitzpatrick

October 27, 2015

Several of the current frontrunners for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidacy have emphasized their support for legislation that would allow individuals impacted by a gun crime to seek financial compensation from firearms manufacturers in civil court. In short, in the event of a shooting gun companies could be held liable. Many gun control proponents are, as you might imagine, in favor of this legislation.

Anti-gun legislation is nothing new, but perhaps this particular topic sheds light on a much broader and more dangerous attitude regarding firearms and crime in America—many voters seem to have a great deal of trouble identifying who is really at blame when a gun is mishandled.

Let me provide a simpler example. Several months ago, I was researching the best holsters to wear while exercising and, during the course of that research, I came upon a running forum that addressed the topic. A young woman—new to running but familiar with firearms—asked which holsters were best to wear while exercising. It seemed a logical question to me; runners are frequently the target of assaults, and many holsters simply wouldn’t stand up to the abuse. Instead of addressing the woman’s question, the responders took this as an opportunity to attack her. The first response to her question read, “Maybe if you think you need a gun you should find another place to run.”

There was general agreement with the “find another place to run” response on the forum, but that comment infuriated me. Although it may seem benign, this is the type of attitude that abdicates criminals for their actions and levels a measure of guilt on victims. There are several fundamental problems with the “maybe you should find another place to run” attitude, and here are a few:

  1. Violence Only Occurs in “Bad” Places: The notion that you know where crime will occur is absurd. Sure, there are statistics that show that certain areas have higher rates of crime than other areas, but that doesn’t mean you are completely safe in your suburban neighborhood where folks are watering their lawn or shooting baskets in the driveway with their kids. Crime is everywhere, in every community, good and bad, poor and rich.
  2. Avoidance Is An Effective Means Of Crime Prevention: No one in their right mind (save first responders, who risk their lives for others on a daily basis) would seek out violent confrontations. But don’t mistakenly believe that avoiding crime will protect you from crime. One of the most frightening things about violent encounters is that they happen at any time, anywhere—at your kid’s soccer game, while you’re on vacation, when you’re walking from your driveway to your front door. If your sole protection against crime is avoiding crime you will fail.
  3. Carrying a Gun means You’re Looking for Trouble: I don’t carry a gun looking for a conflict. I carry a gun because I don’t want to be a victim of violence, and if every other option is closed off to me then my last resort will be a firearm. Whether I’m at the store, on the road, or, yes, jogging on a trail through a park, I carry a gun because I may have no other option but to use it.
  4. The Victim of Violence Shares in the Blame: Let’s be very clear about this one—when a crime occurs it isn’t the fault of the gun company, the community, the current economical condition, or the victim. It is the fault of the criminal alone. The victim of a crime isn’t at fault because she ran in the wrong area, because she got lost in the wrong neighborhood, or because she stopped at a rest area on the highway alone at three in the morning. Instead of warning victims against running where there is a remote chance that a criminal will attack them, let’s issue this warning instead—if you are a criminal and you choose to harm another person be prepared for them to exercise their Second Amendment rights, which may mean that you get shot. Magazine restrictions, civil litigation against firearms companies, and warnings against running in certain areas of town are all methods by which the uninformed point the finger of blame at law-abiding citizens. The battle for gun rights starts with a clear understanding of who is at fault when violence occurs, and that is criminals.

A History of Firearms and Gun Control

From the Ottoman Empire to Australia, private citizens have been forced to forfeit their firearms, and the results have been disastrous.

Brad Fitzpatrick

October 23, 2015

Americans are granted the right to own and bear firearms, a right that has been stripped away from citizens in many countries over the last century. But before any new gun control legislation passes, it’s worthwhile to examine how similar laws have affected ours and other nations in the past. Do less guns make us safer? What has happened in the wake of nationwide gun grabs? What can history teach us about firearms ownership that could prove valuable as we move into the future?

First, a few statistics from the NRA-ILA. There are an estimated 300 million firearms in America and approximately 100 million gun owners. Roughly 40 million of those gun owners have handguns, and it is believed that approximately 40-45 percent of homes have at least one gun. Many of these guns are owned by hunters, which account for the sale of 14.5 million hunting licenses annually. Those hunting licenses create billions of dollars and revenue, and the Pittman-Robertson Act has generated millions of dollars for conservation—not to mention the funds generated for wildlife by groups like Ducks Unlimited and other organizations. But there’s another telling statistic that has been largely buried since a 1982 study of violent criminals in 11 states. Of those criminals who were surveyed, 40% said that they had decided not to commit a crime because they believed the intended victim owned or had access to a firearm. 34% of the criminals surveyed said that they had been personally shot at, wounded, captured or scared away from the scene by private firearms owners, and 69% responded that they knew of at least one other criminal who had been stopped or scared away by firearms.

Photo credit: Joshuashearn


Historically, there are several instances when governments seized firearms from private citizens and then committed atrocities. In 1911, the Ottoman Empire began a gun confiscation program that eventually led to the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians. In 1938, Hitler’s Nazi party implemented gun confiscation programs that preceded the Holocaust, and in 1935 the Chinese government forced citizens to turn over their firearms, and between 1935 and 1952 20 million citizens were murdered. Similar gun control measures, gun seizures, and subsequent acts of violence against citizens have occurred in Cambodia and the Soviet Union, where unarmed populaces were left with little recourse when governments initiated acts of violence.

Results from the Australian gun buyback program

Results from the Australian gun buyback program


The Australian gun buyback program of 1996 resulted in the collection of approximately 650,000 guns, but did that serve to reduce homicide rates? Not according to a long-term study that was released in 2007 titled, “Gun Laws and Sudden Death: Did the Australian Firearms legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?” authors Jeanine Baker and Samara McPhedran examined homicide rates in Australia from 1980 until 2004. What is clear from their study is that homicide rates dropped steadily from 1980 until 1996, when a shooting prompted the legislation. According to Baker and McPhedran, the buyback program and stricter legislation had, “no influence on homicide in Australia.”

Such programs, if ever implemented in the United States, would cause major resistance and would cost a tremendous amount of money. History has proven once again that disarming legal citizens and stripping away their gun ownership rights has no positive effect on public safety.


The Politics of Gun Control

What candidates—and statistics—say about gun violence in America.

With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, candidates from both parties have developed stances on gun control and Second Amendment rights. As you might imagine, these stances vary greatly, and the recent Democratic debate sparked controversy over gun rights in America. Of particular interest to candidates on both sides of the debate were “assault” weapons bans, magazine restrictions, and universal background checks.

At the forefront of the debate was the notion of an “assault” weapons ban. Both Martin O’Malley and Hillary Clinton support legislation that bans or severely limits the sale of “assault” weapons, but the very term “assault weapon” is ambiguous and could open the door to the regulation of a wide variety of firearms. The sale of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and a variety of other weapons has been regulated since the 1934 National Firearms Act, and today most candidates use the term to describe semiautomatic weapons like AR-15s. But the NRA-ILA contends that banning these firearms would have little effect on crime rates and would unfairly restrict American citizens from purchasing firearms designed for hunting, sport shooting and home defense.


photo credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque


“ ‘Assault weapon’ is the term that gun control supporters use to malign general-purpose rifles like the AR-15,” says the NRA-ILA website. “Americans now own five million AR-15s, the number is growing by several hundred thousand annually, and the nation’s murder rate is down by more than half since 1991. They’re commonly used for home defense, sports (such as the NRA’s National Defense Match, NRA High Power, and Three-Gun), and hunting.”

The increase in the number of state-issued concealed carry permits and a growing number of right-to-carry laws has coincided with a significant drop in U.S. homicides—a fact rarely addressed when stricter gun control laws are being pushed.

“Forty-two states have Right-to-Carry laws, and 48 states prohibit cities from imposing gun laws more restrictive than state law,” says the NRA-ILA. “From 1991 to 2012, the total violent crime rate declined  49% to a 42-year low, and the murder rate declined by 52% to a 49-year low.”

pew research gun crime reduction

Magazine restrictions, often erroneously referred to as “clip restrictions” by gun control advocates, are recommended by O’Malley, Clinton and others. Many self-defense handguns have magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, and these firearms would, under these proposed laws, be considered unlawful to own. But the NRA contests that magazine restrictions are not an effective means by which to control gun violence but rather another restriction that is aimed at gun owners and manufacturers.

“Most modern ammunition magazines designed for defensive purposes hold more than 10 rounds for handguns and 20 or more rounds for rifles,” says the NRA-ILA. “Not surprisingly, gun control supporters who claim that firearms aren’t useful for defensive purposes, claim that such magazines are also not useful for defense, but are instead only useful to criminals. The congressionally-mandated study of the federal ‘large’ magazine ban of 1994-2004 found that such magazines had only rarely been used in crime, a subsequent study found that revolvers were more associated with criminal gun injuries than semi-automatic pistols, and the official report on the Virginia Tech shooting concluded that a 10-round magazine limit would have not made much difference in the outcome of the crime. Americans own well over 100 million ‘large’ magazines and the nation’s murder rate is nearly at an all-time low.”

The issue of background checks has also taken center-stage in 2015, and several candidates are pushing for “more thorough” checks. But according to the NRA’s findings, background checks are not an effective means by which to control violence but rather a further restriction on gun owners. Current federal law requires anyone who purchases a firearm to be screened through the National Instant Criminal Background Check, or NICS, and felons are currently prohibited from owning firearms.

“Gun control supporters demand that sales and trades of firearms that don’t involve dealers be subject to NICS as well,” says the NRA-ILA. “They claim that such a law would prevent criminals from getting guns, but most criminals obtain guns from theft, the black market, or ‘straw purchasers’—people who can pass a background check and who buy guns for criminals. Furthermore, none of the high-profile crimes that they cite involved guns bought without a background check.”

The rights of America’s estimated 100 million gun owners are at stake, and legislation that, in effect, restricts or limits gun owners and does little to address the root causes of violence, serves little purpose in making American streets safer. The notion that purported “gun control” measures will help make the United States a more secure nation has not been backed by statistical evidence. It’s more important, then, that American gun owners understand that our rights as citizens must be preserved and that other significant issues in our culture like concerns over mental health are need to be addressed immediately. Taking firearms out of the hands of American citizens is not the answer to decreasing violence and preserving our rights.


-Brad Fitzpatrick


October 22, 2015

Ares Armor Inc. at Fort Bragg Darley Defense Days


The 2015 Darley Defense Days Show is coming up at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The event is being held on Tuesday, August 18 and Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the new Fort Bragg Conference and Catering Center on Reilly Road. The beautiful new facility is right in the heart of the 251-mile U.S. Military post.

This marks the third year of the Darley Defense Days event designed to showcase the finest products and services specifically of interest to the sizable U.S. Army community at Fort Bragg.

A team from Ares Armor Inc. is excited to be one of 55 featured exhibitors. Those planning to attend the show will be able to visit with Atreyu Jimenez and Will Smith, Directors of Wholesale Accounts for Ares Armor Inc. You can find them at Booth # 601 of the nearly 50,000 square foot facility.

The pair of U.S. Marines will be displaying innovative new products from the company’s nylon and metal catalogs. They will also be gladly discussing opportunities for tactical gear to be fully customized for Special Operators at Fort Bragg.

Mario Cockrell is the Southeast Regional Account Manager for Darley Defense Days. He is acting as the “Boots on the Ground” in advance of the show.

“It’s in a prime location,” says Cockrell. “We’re hoping for a crowd in the thousands. The entire 82nd Airborne is stationed here. 89 battalions are based here. Many Special Operations and Special Response Forces Units are also stationed here. And I have been working to personally invite all of them to our show,” laughs Cockrell.

On a more serious note, he adds how Fort Bragg is not just one of the largest U.S. Army installations in the world. It is clearly one of the most valuable. “Fort Bragg is of great strategic importance for the United States ‘Force Projection.’ The Special Forces stationed here can disperse quickly when needed so they are very important strategically for the Department of Defense.”

The Darley Defense team has worked closely with Ares Armor Inc. in the past. They are excited to have Ares Armor Inc. showcasing its innovative products and technologies at the Fort Bragg Darley Defense Days show. “When it comes to great nylon gear, the troops here rely on equipment like that,” says Mario Cockrell. “They’ve hit the jackpot.”

To arrange a private consultation or demonstration of Ares Armor Inc. gear, please call Will Smith at (760) 421-1705 or Atreyu Jimenez at (561) 800-9834.

Ares Armor Inc. Joins Army Navy Military Expo 2015


Photo: Army Navy Military Expo 2014

Ares Armor Inc. is a veteran driven company. And every day it is heading further down that road to success. As an example, a team representing some of the U.S. Military Veterans employed at the Oceanside, CA based company is eagerly making the trip to Las Vegas this weekend. They are excited to be exhibitors at the Summer 2015 Army Navy Military Expo.

Among those representing Ares Armor Inc. at the upcoming ANM Expo are:

Atreyu Jimenez – Director of Wholesale Accounts. U.S. Marine.

William Smith –   Director of Wholesale Accounts. U.S. Marine.

Martin Cromwell – Retail Manager. U.S. Marine.

“We’ve been looking forward to being a part of this well-run and established event,” said Bryce Stirlen, the civilian CEO of Ares Armor Inc. “The Army Navy Military Expo provides our team a great opportunity to contribute to this incredibly important community. Our company is passionate about developing and delivering innovative, high-quality products that will make a difference in how operators in the field perform – while at the same time enhancing safety by improving technology.”

You will be able to find the Ares Armor Inc. team at booth # 705 of ANME, being held at the Tuscany Suites and Casino from Sunday, August 16, 2015 to Tuesday, August 18, 2015. For your added convenience, you’ll find the booth is located right near the areas for breakfast and lunch at the expo.

Ares Armor Inc. will be proudly displaying a wide array of innovative products from both its nylon catalog and metal catalog. These are products already being used by those in branches of the military, as well as law enforcement, and the tactical gear industries.

“Basically we are going to showcase the whole list of our gear and have it in the hands of operators who are actually going to use it,” said Atreyu Jimenez. “Our end goal is to provide them with the best gear possible so they can succeed on their missions.”

Ares Armor Inc. will gladly arrange a specific time for a private meeting, consultation, or demonstration at the Summer 2015 ANM Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Safe travels all.

Ares Armor Inc. at ANM Expo Summer 2015


Think cool.

The Army Navy Military Expo has exactly what you need in Las Vegas in August — air conditioning. The ANME Summer 2015 show is being held inside the comforts of the Tuscany Suites and Casino from Sunday, August 16 through Tuesday, August 18th.

The Army Navy Military Expo is a battle-tested B2B tradeshow. It brings together buyers and sellers through displays of the coolest products in the army-navy surplus, tactical, law enforcement, and outdoor industries.

David Castlegrant is the show manager for ANME Summer 2015, the 15th edition of the event which began in 2007. “We’re hoping for a great show,” said Castlegrant, who’s got more than 20 years of experience in the surplus industry. “The summer show is smaller and usually more intimate. But our pre-registration for this event is up dramatically. We’re expecting we could have more than 900 attendees.

Even during summer in the desert, Las Vegas attracts visitors from around the world. “We already have international buyers from 19 different countries right now,” adds Castlegrant. “They come from a lot of gun stores, “cop shops” or police supply stores, and plenty of surplus stores. The interesting thing about surplus stores is no two are alike.”

Think cool.

U.S. Veterans from Ares Armor Inc. will be at the ANM Expo to meet you, and show you a wide array of the company’s expanding product line. They will be featuring products from the company’s complete nylon catalog, as well as items from the metal catalog. You can find Ares Armor Inc. at Exhibitor Booth #705. It’s right by the breakfast and lunch area.

Think cool.

If you are a buyer or serious browser, your cost to register for the Army Navy Military Expo Summer 2015 event couldn’t be more attractive. It’s free at www.anmexpo.com.

We’ll look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas at the ANM Expo.

AR-15 Giveaway Ends at 11:59 p.m. EST


There could be one easy action item left to finish off your work week with a real bang. If you have not already done so, just take a minute to give yourself a chance to win the AR-15 Build a Rifle Kit Giveaway from Ares Armor Inc. There is no purchase necessary.

Enter to Win.

This is your opportunity to win your custom AR-15. As always from Ares Armor Inc., this means: Unserialized, Unregistered and 100% Legal.

Wouldn’t you like to win something for a change? Have the popular rifle made just the way you want it. You’d customize it anyway. Why not do it right and build it exactly to your own specifications and personal preferences?

Ares Armor Inc. is America’s home of 80% AR-15 Polymer Lower Receivers, and the home of AR-15 Upper Receivers. These are the products you want and need to successfully and legally Build-a-Gun in the privacy of your own home.

There is no tomorrow. The Giveaway ends tonight, July 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. (Eastern Standard Time).

Enter to Win an AR-15 kit now.

AR-15 Build a Rifle Kit Giveaway is Ending


You may want to hurry. If you have a quick moment of free time, that could be all of the ammo you will need to win the AR-15 Build a Rifle Kit Giveaway from Ares Armor Inc.

Enter to Win.

No purchase is necessary. The AR-15 Build a Rifle Kit Giveaway ends tomorrow, July 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. (Eastern Standard Time).

Ares Armor Inc. is your source for owning an AR-15 just the way you like it, just the way you want it. We are the home of 80% AR-15 Polymer Lower Receivers, and the home of AR-15 Upper Receivers. These are the products you need to Build-a-Gun from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

This means your custom AR-15 is Unserialized, Unregistered and 100% Legal.

Enter to Win an AR-15 kit now.

Ares Armor Inc. Supports U.S. Marine’s Toy Drive


Sick children in a hospital is hard enough. They’re scared. They’re bored. They’re stressed about who and what they’re missing. And on top of all that, they’re not feeling well.

Doctors, nurses, and technicians work hard to provide care for these patients. But in addition, giving kids some healthy outlets to pass the time in the hospital, and take their minds off their medical condition can be just what the doctor ordered.

This issue became the trigger for a toy drive to benefit pediatric patients at the Palomar Health Downtown Campus hospital in Escondido, California. The campaign was organized by a former U.S. Marine at Camp Pendleton. When a couple of the Marines on the team at Ares Armor Inc. heard about the toy drive, they quickly stepped up and stepped in to help their comrade help the kids.



Photo: Will Smith and Atreyu Jiminez of Ares Armor Inc.

Matthew Quinn was on active duty in the United States Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton last year when his daughter suffered a kidney infection. He says she received excellent care, treatment, and family support at the base hospital.

As a result of this experience, Matthew Quinn became aware pediatric patients from other families don’t have the same resources to help them get through their hospital stays. “Other parents don’t have the means or availability to entertain their kids in the hospital,”  says. “They really struggle.”

This was all the ammunition needed for launching a toy drive.

Despite the best of intentions, the act of kindness still needed an upper. In addition to his family life, Matthew Quinn is very busy as one of the co-owners of the new Warfighter Academy military training center which just opened its doors in Escondido.

The guys from Ares Armor Inc. joined in the mission and got their own company to open its arms and checkbook to make a strong final push for success. Will Smith took time over last weekend to go shopping for new toys. CEO Bryce Stirlen contributed a donation of $1500 for more toys and activities to occupy the kids while in the hospital.



“Prior to this toy drive effort, the pediatric center had a small toybox,” Quinn says. We literally walked in with an SUV and pickup truck loaded with new toys. Thanks to the Ares donation, we’re going to purchase more. The staff were very excited. One of the nurses was so touched she wound up crying.”

“We’re grateful for this opportunity as a company to assist U.S. Marines on our team in supporting one of their own in the community, and making hospital stays just a little bit easier for sick kids,” added Bryce Stirlen, CEO, Ares Armor Inc.

Yes, the big guns in any pediatric hospital are always the medical professionals on staff. But hopefully, being able to provide better play time for the little boys and girls inside those patient gowns will also play a role in getting them healthy and back home.

Says Quinn, “If this one thing provides kids and their families with some kind of happiness during challenging times in the hospital, then it was important for us to do.”

A Letter from Ares Armor Inc. CEO

Please allow me to extend my deepest apologies to the employees, management team of Ares Armor Inc., and to those of you who have felt a connection to us.  Yesterday, I violated your trust, by posting information about Dimitri Karras’ departure and our letter to him. I made a mistake, I let emotions get the better of me and I reacted in a manner that is not in line with the way that Ares Armor Inc. composes itself. I am sorry for my errors and I only hope you afford me the ability to regain the trust which we have built over the past seven months since I acquired Ares Armor Inc.

To Mr. Karras, I apologize for posting information publicly that should have remained private. Regardless of our differences and how we have clearly hurt one another – it gave me no right to disrespect you, for that I apologize.

When I met Dimitri and saw what his team built, it amazed me as I learned more about the incredible technology they developed, and the passion which fueled the company.  Since Dimitri wanted to sell the company, I believed my professional experience teamed with these great people could lift the company to greater success. I fell in love with Ares Armor. More importantly, I fell in love with its people, and everything this company has done for the veteran community and will continue to do.

In closing, Dimitri was invited to my office yesterday and although both of us are emotional and have not fully resolved our differences, we made some good headway.  Regardless, this should have never been put in a public forum, and I realize how wrong it was to the wonderful people of Ares Armor, Mr. Karras and our valued customers.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support for Ares Armor Inc.


Best regards,


Bryce Stirlen, CEO

Ares Armor, Inc.

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